Two major aspects of dance music are control and imposition. Verstörung 2.0 has them both covered. The album is its own atmosphere; it regulates gravity and communicates in patterns of shadow and visible light. The bass frequencies are dense but precisely applied – metal girders that lower upon my head and then lift again, while the higher frequencies pulsate with the LED displays of environmental stabilisation. Metronomic beeps retain an exact room temperature, while strange loops of crunching foil and metallic gurgle keep me locked under the doctrine of subliminal alien mantra. Techno is not liberation; it’s a cyborg straightjacket, reducing me to a single, wholly practical mode of functioning.
The second half of the record hangs like an impenetrable cloud – the beats splay and resonate a little, pumping out a frozen vapour of tones that cling to eachother but never compound. Melody threatens to materialise but the progressions are distinctive enough. Instead, I’m just hearing the mechanism vary in speed, dropping back to leave little pockets of space before the drones come forward again to claim them again. Grunholz’s sculptures are impassable and exact – solid grids of texture, with each element held within precisely measured squares. Verstörung 2.0 is vacuum-sealed, forcing me to breathe in a very particular, artificially generated atmosphere. I am caged and utterly complicit.